This section is from "Scientific American Supplement Volumes 275, 286, 288, 299, 303, 312, 315, 324, 344 and 358". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
The temperature necessary for the complete carbonization of the organic substances of animal charcoal is from 430° to 500° C. In order to transmit this temperature from the cylinder to the charcoal it is indispensable that the air surrounding the cylinder be heated to 480° to 550°. If the heating of the animal black exceeds 500° the product hardens, diminishes in volume, and loses its porosity. There are two methods of ascertaining the temperature of the red-hot bone black by means of the pyrometer: First, by inserting the tube of the instrument into the black. (Fig. 6, a.) Second, by finding the temperature of the hot gases in the furnaces (Fig. 6, b.). In the first case, the plunge tube should be of sufficient length to allow its extremity to penetrate to the very bottom layer of the red-hot black. This mode of direct control of the temperature of the black is only employed for ascertaining the work accomplished by the furnace, that is to say, the ratio existing between the temperature of the hot air surrounding the cylinder and the black itself. This calculation being effected, it is useless to note the differences of temperature which arise in the spaces between the cylinders of which the furnace is composed.
The position that the pyrometer should occupy is subordinate to the construction of the furnace. Fig. 6 shows the type which is most employed.
Fig. 6.--The Pyrometer mounted on a bone-black furnace.
In a furnace with lateral fire-place, cc are the heating cylinders, and dd the cooling cylinders. C D is the plate on which are mounted vertically the former, and from which are suspended the latter, b shows the pyrometer, the length of which must be such that the manometric apparatus shall stand out one or two inches from the external surface of the wall, while its tube, traversing the wall, shall reach the very last row of heating cylinders.
That the apparatus may form a permanent regulator for the stoker it is well to adapt to it an arrangement permitting of a graphic control of the work accomplished and signaling by means of an electric bell when the temperature of the gases in the furnace descends below 480° C. or rises above 550° C.
The operation of heating brick furnaces is generally performed according to empirical methods, the temperature having to vary much according to the products that it is desired to obtain. It is necessary, however, for a like product to maintain as uniform a temperature as possible. These observations are particularly applicable to continuous furnaces such as annular brick furnaces, etc., in which a uniformity of temperature in the different chambers is of vital importance to perfect the baking. In these furnaces the tube of the pyrometer is inserted through one of the apertures at the top, as shown in Fig. 7. The dial is graduated up to 750°, which is more than sufficient, since the temperature of the upper part of a compartment fully exposed to the heat rarely exceeds 670° to 680° C.
Fig. 7.--The Pyrometer mounted on a brick furnace.